This Cube-Shaped Gadget Lets You Capture Colors With Stunning Accuracy

Every once in a while, I’ll see something — a flower, a mural, or some other piece of art — that has colors so vibrant and beautiful, I want to capture a record of them so that I can use them in some process later like a digital art project or a web design color scheme.

The best way to usually accomplish this is to pull out my smartphone camera, and capture a picture. But invariably, the quality of the colors just doesn’t translate well to the photograph, at least, not with the “pop” that I thought the colors had the first time.

A recently successfully funded Kickstarter project recognized this problem for designers, and is seeking to come up with a solution in the form of the SwatchMate Color Capturing Cube. The Cube, as it’s called, is a small device that has sensors inside, allowing a user to touch the device on an object, and capture the color of that object with unparalleled accuracy. The swatch of that color is stored in the device — The Cube can hold up to 20 colors at a time — or can be synced to a smartphone via Bluetooth.

The Cube is expected to start shipping in June of this year. The Kickstarter for the product far exceeded its funding goal, so the developers of the technology included some extra features into the device including a thermometer and — something that will be very useful to photographers — a light intensity sensor. According to the Kickstarter founders, in addition to bringing color swatches into Photoshop or doing things like matching colors to paint brands, uses of The Cube will include color-grading photos based on color readings, checking for color consistency in photos, and helping fashion designers with color textile coordination.

Orders for The Cube are being taken now on the SwatchMate website.

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